According to a new report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), some free vaccines that are part of a government assistance program called Vaccines for Children have been improperly stored. Some lacked consistent refrigeration, others were stored next to expired vaccines, which could have led to mix ups.
"The bottom line for parents is that there is nothing you need to do other than make sure your child's vaccinations are up to date," Tom Skinner, spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tells Shine. "You don't need to go be re-vaccinated." Skinner acknowledges that improperly stored vaccines may lose some potency, but says they are still safe and effective.
"We are at record lows for preventable diseases," says Skinner. "This is an indication that our vaccines are working." He points that recent outbreaks of preventable diseases, such as measles, are a result of under-vaccination. He encourages parents speak with their pediatrician if they have additional concerns.
Vaccines for Children serves about 40 million uninsured and Medicaid eligible children each year from 44,000 provider sites. Skinner says the report indicates that the storage process for doctors can be cumbersome and difficult and needs to be streamlined by the CDC.